Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Active droplets

21.02.2020

Long-lasting and precise dosing of medication thanks to an oil-hydrogel mixture

Using a mixture of oil droplets and hydrogel, medical active agents can be not only precisely dosed, but also continuously administered over periods of up to several days. The active agents inside the droplets are released at a constant rate, decreasing the risk of over- or underdosage.


Fluorescence microscopic image of oil droplets embedded in a hydrogel. This system, developed by Prof. Job Boekhoven and Caren Wanzke at the Technical University of Munich, can release drugs with a constant release rate over a tunable period of time.

Credit: Benedikt Riess / TUM


Prof. Job Boekhoven and Caren Wanzke at the Technical University of Munich discovered a new material system that can release drugs with a constant release rate over a tunable period of time. The microscopic image (right screen) shows droplets of the hydrolyzable oil embedded in a hydrogel.

Credit: Andreas Heddergott / TUM

Actually, Prof. Job Boekhoven was studying the origins of life: Together with his team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the chemist wanted to understand how molecules in the primordial ocean had managed to combine and form the precursors of the first living cells.

"In our research work we experimented with oil droplets, among other things. We were especially interested in mechanisms that protect molecules from degradation. We found that unstable molecules that form oil droplets would survive much longer than molecules that cannot form droplets. In a sense, the droplets protect the molecules inside."

However, the oily shield is not entirely impermeable: Some of the oil molecules react with the surrounding water. This hydrolysis causes the droplets to slowly but continuously lose mass and shrink until they eventually disappear. "The constant decay of these 'active droplets', led us to the idea of using them to dose drugs," recalls Boekhoven.

Safe from over- or underdosing

Pharmacologists have long sought methods for administering active agents at a constant rate. The ingredients in ointments or tablets are usually released quickly, increasing the risk of an overdose. Moreover, the fast rate of release shortens the duration of the intended effect. Methods for releasing drugs over extended periods of time at a constant rate are rare and often complicated to fabricate.

"We found that the droplets continuously release the drug while they get smaller and smaller. The consequence is that over the entire release period, the drug release rate remains constant", explains Boekhoven. "The power of this approach lies in its simplicity. You need only three components: droplets made of a hydrolyzable oil, a drug that partitions in the oil, and a hydrogel that stabilizes the position of the droplets."

Many fields of application

The new oil-hydrogel mix allows active agents to be administered not only continuously but also at a predetermined rate. The droplets can be loaded with larger or smaller doses of active substances. These are released as soon as the oil droplets come into contact with the water in blood or tissue. The hydrolysis proceeds at a constant rate until the droplets have dissipated completely.

These "active droplets" have many potential fields of application. They could, for example, be deployed in disinfectant or healing-promoting sore pads to treat poorly healing wounds. A patent application has already been filed for the oil-hydrogel material.

###

The research was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the context of the Transregio 235 Collaborative Research Center, the Cluster of Excellence "Origins" and via the TUM-Institute for Advanced Study with funds from the German Excellence Initiative and the 7th European Framework Program.

Publication:

Active droplets in a hydrogel release drugs with a constant and tunable rate; Caren Wanzke, Marta Tena-Solsona, Benedikt Riess, Laura Tebcharani, Job Boekhoven; Materials Horizons Edition, Feb. 12, 2020 - DOI: 10.1039/C9MH01822K

Media Contact

Dr. Andreas Battenberg
battenberg@zv.tum.de
49-892-891-0510

 @TU_Muenchen

http://www.tum.de 

Dr. Andreas Battenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35918/
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C9MH01822K

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Artificial intelligence can speed up the detection of stroke
31.03.2020 | University of Turku

nachricht Thermopiles for non-contact temperature measurement at humans
31.03.2020 | CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik GmbH

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: When ions rattle their cage

Electrolytes play a key role in many areas: They are crucial for the storage of energy in our body as well as in batteries. In order to release energy, ions - charged atoms - must move in a liquid such as water. Until now the precise mechanism by which they move through the atoms and molecules of the electrolyte has, however, remained largely unknown. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now shown that the electrical resistance of an electrolyte, which is determined by the motion of ions, can be traced back to microscopic vibrations of these dissolved ions.

In chemistry, common table salt is also known as sodium chloride. If this salt is dissolved in water, sodium and chloride atoms dissolve as positively or...

Im Focus: Harnessing the rain for hydrovoltaics

Drops of water falling on or sliding over surfaces may leave behind traces of electrical charge, causing the drops to charge themselves. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz have now begun a detailed investigation into this phenomenon that accompanies us in every-day life. They developed a method to quantify the charge generation and additionally created a theoretical model to aid understanding. According to the scientists, the observed effect could be a source of generated power and an important building block for understanding frictional electricity.

Water drops sliding over non-conducting surfaces can be found everywhere in our lives: From the dripping of a coffee machine, to a rinse in the shower, to an...

Im Focus: A sensational discovery: Traces of rainforests in West Antarctica

90 million-year-old forest soil provides unexpected evidence for exceptionally warm climate near the South Pole in the Cretaceous

An international team of researchers led by geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) have now...

Im Focus: Blocking the Iron Transport Could Stop Tuberculosis

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis need iron to survive. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now solved the first detailed structure of the transport protein responsible for the iron supply. When the iron transport into the bacteria is inhibited, the pathogen can no longer grow. This opens novel ways to develop targeted tuberculosis drugs.

One of the most devastating pathogens that lives inside human cells is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis. According to the...

Im Focus: Physicist from Hannover Develops New Photon Source for Tap-proof Communication

An international team with the participation of Prof. Dr. Michael Kues from the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at Leibniz University Hannover has developed a new method for generating quantum-entangled photons in a spectral range of light that was previously inaccessible. The discovery can make the encryption of satellite-based communications much more secure in the future.

A 15-member research team from the UK, Germany and Japan has developed a new method for generating and detecting quantum-entangled photons at a wavelength of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Coral Reef Symposium in Bremen Postponed by a Year

06.04.2020 | Event News

13th AKL – International Laser Technology Congress: May 4–6, 2022 in Aachen – Laser Technology Live already this year!

02.04.2020 | Event News

“4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020” takes place over the internet

26.03.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

TU Dresden chemists develop noble metal aerogels for electrochemical hydrogen production and other applications

06.04.2020 | Life Sciences

Lade-PV Project Begins: Vehicle-integrated PV for Electrical Commercial Vehicles

06.04.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Lack of Knowledge and Uncertainty about Algorithms in Online Services

06.04.2020 | Social Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>